Hyperechoic medulla of the kidneys

Radiology. 1989 Nov;173(2):431-4. doi: 10.1148/radiology.173.2.2678257.


Eighteen patients were identified in whom ultrasound (US) of the kidney demonstrated a hyperechoic medulla. Diagnoses in the patients included gout in seven; Sjögren syndrome in two; medullary sponge kidney in two; primary aldosteronism in two; and Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, hyperparathyroidism, glycogen storage disease type XI, Wilson disease, and pseudo-Bartter syndrome in one each. The pathogenesis of the echogenicity was evaluated by comparing the findings from computed tomography and conventional radiography. It appears that a hyperechoic medulla is caused by hyperuricemia, medullary nephrocalcinosis, or hypokalemia. US is considered to be useful in evaluating renal involvement in patients with these diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Kidney Medulla / diagnostic imaging
  • Kidney Medulla / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography*